First Looks: ViewSonic V36 Pocket PC (with built-in Digital Camera)

by Reads (7,620)


Months past the expected arrival last summer, the ViewSonic V36 has become available for purchase at COMPUSA.  The device has been highly anticipated by some, since it is the first Pocket PC with a built-in digital camera available in the United States.  Additionally this unit is preloaded with the new Windows Mobile 2003 Operating System and incorporates a user replaceable battery.


The V36 has arrived into the mainstream consumer market after a quiet release of the ViewSonic V37 which was mostly a give away model that was free to developers who purchased Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003 software.  After taking a close look at that model I was unimpressed with what seemed to me as a decline in screen and hardware quality that was already considered marginal in ViewSonic s first Pocket PC model, the V35 .


So what can you expect from the V36?  I have only had a couple of hours to work with it so far.  My first impressions are this:  The unit is very similar to the past models in feel, looks and functionality with the exception of the new Windows Mobile OS, built-in camera and user replaceable battery.  The screen on the unit I am testing is not exceptional in brightness or clarity which  is a shame since ViewSonic is mostly known for its high-quality displays.  At this point I still notice an annoying popping noise that emanates from the speaker when the unit is first powered on and I click the touchscreen.  I am sure most readers want to know about the camera.  Well I hate to say it, but while the built in camera software is excellent, the photo quality is in my opinion, very sub-par.  I will of course provide the best shots I can get with this camera in my upcoming review (right here on!)  So beyond all this what will I have to say in my review coming later this week that is reason enough to run out and spend your hard earned $300 on the V36?  That remains to be seen.  Maybe with more time I will uncover something to rave about (or more to rant about), until then I will tell my own friends to keep your wallets closed!   Stay tuned for the full scoop coming later this week.


– Barry



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